WEST BLOOMFIED — Friendship Circle, which has stood for children and young adults with special needs for 20 years, is stepping up again. After acquiring a portion of a shopping center located at Drake Rd., just south of Walnut Lake road in West Bloomfield, Friendship Circle will soon begin to construct and operate a cafe and art studio. The Farber Soul Center, as it will be named, from a generous $2.1 million donation from the William and Audrey Farber Family Foundation, will be a facility where Friendship Circle will extend their programming into the lives of adults with special needs through culinary, digital and traditional arts, thus getting the much needed on-the- job training.
Soul Cafe will include a state of the art kosher restaurant with the menu created and served by their staff of both typically able and those who have special needs. The café will also provide the existing Lessons for Life program, currently utilized by over 200 schools around the metro Detroit area.
Soul Studio will be a professional art studio that encourages these adults with special needs to find their passion and explore the many different artistic media that will be available to them. Artists will be able to learn and create paintings, ceramic, weaving, jewelry, printmaking, and folk art while also having at their disposal cutting edge digital technologies such as photography, video, 3-D printing, and animation. Friendship Circle will submit the artists’ work to be shown in galleries, entered in contests, and sold to commercial and residential customers. Also located inside the Farber Soul Center will be the Soul Gallery, which will proudly exhibit the works of the artist. The gallery will be open daily to the public for viewing and purchasing.